I make sport of hating on Apple. Like I’ve said before I think their products are innovative but find their business practices infuriating. Basically though apple has a proven record of creating innovative products that manage to feed directly back into the profits of Apple. The iPod is a prime example of this strategy. A truly remarkable product that was better in most ways then any other product on the market, as a result it managed to capture so much of the market they could set the rules for everyone else to follow. This includes the introduction of their proprietary pin connector. There is nothing all that special about this connector, it doesn’t make file transfers faster, nor does it make access to peripherals any more feasible then a standard USB cable, Yet because of their market share all peripheral manufacturers have to design around this connector, and to use the connector they must license the rights from apple allowing apple to reap benefits again. The same is true for the app store. Last month when I railed against Apple’s implementation of a 30% cut on all purchase made within the app store and coercing companies to keep their prices equal to their prices outside of the app store my friend argued that Apple had created this phenomenal infrastructure for developers to make profits and it was perfectly acceptable for them to charge developers to access said infrastructure. He had a very valid point. Again Apples products feed back into enriching Apple. The success of the app store is the self feeding nature of the system. People buy iphones, ipods, and ipads because there are so many apps available on them, developers want access to those people so they write more apps of apple, which in turn lures more people into buying apple products.
If the Federal, state, and local governments took a posture more in line with the apple business model in short order the fiscal problems facing our nation would begin to vanish. Instead at all levels of government are taking an approach that reduces the appeal of the
. States are in a race to the bottom in terms of tax cuts for business. In the short run this sounds like it will lure business into the states. In fact this makes states interchangeable commodities that can only compete on price. This is the exact reason apple never entered the netbook market, The profit margins available in that market we so minimal that it would be to great a gamble with little return on the investment. Instead they invested a ton of resources in creating the infrastructure for a new market that fed itself. Another thing governments are doing to balance their budgets is selling off assets. A popular example is selling government buildings only to rent the space. This is beyond asinine; this is like selling the car you use to get to work to make a single payment on the car note. If we were to take an apple approach to running government we would be doing all we can to strengthen our infrastructure. When apple saw the success of the iphone they purchased a semiconductor company so that less of their profits would go outside companies. They also negotiate hard with their remaining suppliers, they make sure their memory suppliers know their orders take precedent over all others. If our governments are going to give tax breaks to companies those companies must know that the breaks come at a cost, they need to supply a fixed amount of jobs and a failure to meet that preset goal results in a loss of those tax breaks. US
There is no excuse American companies this year posted their highest profit margins in 50 years. Not highest profits, profit margins. At a time when across the globe people are hurting, governments are toppling, unrest is at all time highs somehow corporations are responding to this universal gut check by gouging their base. Obama gets painted as anti business, this is a laughable assessment of his business posture. If anything we need an anti business crusader in charge right now. For the last 30 years there has been a popular belief in business that what is good for the shareholder is good for the business. It has resulted in a business culture that cares little about their workers, their customers, and their country of origin. If it takes an anti-business crusader to make sure that anyone who wants to make money in this country has to do so in ways that enriches the lives of their workers, the quality of life of their customers, and makes
a better place to live so be it. America
What apple has done is create a self sustaining ecosystem founded on the notion that strong underlying infrastructure promotes growth and lures industry support. Governments can learn greatly from this model and become more equipped at meeting the needs of its citizens. The case for running our country like apple runs its company makes me giddy. The reason is simple, either way I win. If you find nothing wrong with Apple’s (a private company who is not in any real way answerable to the public as a whole) business strategy, then it can easily be applied to government which is at least answerable to the will of the people. If you don’t then you can see why I like to bash apple. Cheers.